Crop Biotech Update

Assessment of Biotech Potato with Resistance to Potato Virus Y in Argentina

January 6, 2012

Potato is the fourth most important food crop in the world with a production of approximately 300 million tons per year. In Argentina, potato is an important staple crop specifically the Spunta cultivar which accounts for about 60% of the national production for human consumption. Potato virus Y (PVY) infections can be devastating and losses can reach up to 80% of the tuber yield. Thus, Fernando Bravo-Almonacid of the Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingenierı´a Gene´tica y Biologı´a Molecular (CONICET) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, together with other scientists, developed transgenic potato (cultivar Spunta) with resistance to PVY and came up with 100 independent candidate lines.

After field testing of selected lines, they were able to identify two genetically stable PVY-resistant lines, SY230 and SY233 which were further subjected to evaluation. After six years of testing, they observed that there was no or negligible PVY infection in the transgenic lines while the infection rates of control plants were consistently high (70-80%). They also observed that the agronomical characteristics and biochemical compositions of the transgenic lines are similar with the non-transgenic Spunta cultivar.

Read the research article at http://www.springerlink.com/content/h9j761022rt9hj0h/.